resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
November, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 11
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Did you look forward to going to work today? Were you attentive as you made up your table for your first client? Were you genuinely pleased to see that client come through the door? How about at the end of the day - were you just as pleased to see your last client of the day enter your place of business?
My guess is that if you're in your first year of practice, you answered, "yes" to all of these questions.If you're in your fifth year, it is probably less likely that your "yes" was quite as enthusiastic. If you've been practicing 10, 15 or 20 or more years, you might have to pause and think before answering. The premise I am using in all my following observations is that maintaining excitement and freshness in our practice is in our own best interest and the best interest of our clients.
Certainly a number of factors influence your specific responses to these questions. One factor is the body mechanics of the practitioner. I doubt you would look forward to caring for one more client if your own body was in pain from poor body mechanics. Another factor might be client load. More clients per day than your stamina can allow tends to lessen your ability to appropriately focus on additional clients. Likewise, too few clients may mean too much time on your hands, causing boredom.
I'm writing about the topic of excitement because I have observed a subtle change in the massage therapists I have encountered in the past month. The one thing that has changed seems to be the higher stress level of the typical client, the result no doubt of current world situations. In the week following September 11th, I noticed that massage therapists fell into two major groupings. The first had to force themselves to go to work. They preferred to stay in the apparent security of their homes, and they didn't want to see their clients or hear their clients' "petty" complaints of neck/back/shoulder discomfort when people were desperately wandering New York City with pictures of lost family members. The second group couldn't wait to get to work. They looked forward to spending time in an environment where they knew they could effectively participate in something. I'm not making value judgments about either group, as each was just responding to their own coping mechanisms and skills. Certainly if either of the coping methods were to continue, it would be problematic. The first group's practices would quickly dwindle because of lack of interest. The second group's practices also would likely diminish, because the therapeutic relationship would change to benefit the therapist instead of the client. As you know, clients don't like that much!
The higher client stress levels seem to have encouraged the therapists I know to reinvigorate themselves to help others cope. Hopefully this will reignite the fire of excitement these therapists have for their practices.
If the premise is that maintaining excitement and freshness in our practice is in the best interests of both our clients and ourselves, it behooves us to consider more of the things that aid that process. With job excitement, you believe that your work will be satisfying in the long run; you care about the quality of your work; and you are more committed to the therapist/client relationship and the profession as a whole.
An internet web search brings up much (and frequently conflicting) information on job excitement and satisfaction. However, there are many constants in this information that are directly attributable to a career in massage therapy. The "essence" of job satisfaction is to:
I certainly get all of these in my clinical practice! I can't imagine a massage setting that doesn't allow for all three of these items to occur regularly. Job satisfaction is not synonymous with complacency, but with enthusiasm! With enthusiasm, you can tackle each Monday morning with drive and ambition. Enthusiasm also minimizes the negatives that are always present in varying degrees. With enthusiasm, even negatives can be turned into opportunities for satisfaction. As an emotion, negative is stronger than positive: dissatisfaction seems to be more motivating than satisfaction. In our practices, this is manifested by our clients' reacting more visibly and immediately (e.g., booking appointments) to pain and/or dysfunction than to a pleasant stimulus.
Another "truism" of job satisfaction is that most workers like their work more if there is little minute-by-minute supervision of tasks. Massage therapy, in a treatment room environment, provides the practitioner such autonomy.
Our work has frequently been termed "intuitive." To a large extent, I think the better therapists among us have honed their intuitive skills to a high degree. However, I think that much of our job satisfaction is related to education. Education gives us the confidence to proceed to our full capacities, and enables us to expand our abilities. It makes it possible to become even more excited about our work. I don't know about you, but the more I learn, the more intuitive I become!
Some textbook-like issues that are particularly applicable to our profession infer that job excitement benefits from:
Right now, America needs us to be at the top of our game. It needs us to be looking forward to Monday morning. The tensions and stresses inherent in war, threats of war, invisible enemies and the unknown, make our unique skills more important now than they have ever been in the past. The strides that the industry had made in the past decades to educate consumers is now paying off as worried individuals seek out our services and abilities.
I'd love to hear how you keep your excitement level up. Please share your thoughts with others in our "We Get Letters & Email" section. And I hope every one of us can honestly answer "yes" to each of my opening paragraph questions!
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue of Massage Today. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to the address listed below:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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